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When we asked our readers for their lingerie questions, the requests rolled in. We’ve put them to M&S’s lingerie technical lead Julia Mercer, here to solve your underwear dilemmas


What’s the best bra to wear with summer dresses? I find they have awkward straps!

If you’re worried about visible straps, it’s best to choose a strapless bra. We have developed a range that will help anyone feel secure and comfortable all day. Our lace padded strapless bra is available up to an E cup, while our lace embroidered strapless bra is available up to a GG cup.

Do non-underwired bras offer enough support for DD+ cup sizes?

Yes, if they’re designed well! We’ve got a fabulous new range featuring a hidden construction inside the bra for excellent support without the need for a wire. In fact, all our non-wired DD+ bras have been designed to provide the correct level of support, so you have plenty of options to choose from.


Chafing is a nightmare in the summer – what’s the best underwear option to prevent this?

We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’ve designed new slip shorts to stop any rubbing at the top of the thighs. These shorts feature a comfort band around the legs and waist, so they’ll stay in place perfectly and be invisible under clothes. We also sell slips and culottes featuring our Cool Comfort technology, which will help you stay cool in the heat.

How much support do small busts really need?

It’s a misconception that smaller busts don’t need support – in fact, every size of breast is subject to movement, so even if you have a smaller cup size, you still need a well-fitting bra. This is particularly true when it comes to sports bras, to keep you supported while you exercise.


My mum has problems with her joints and finds fastening a bra behind her back difficult – do you have any other options?

Your mum is not alone – a few customers have mentioned this to us, which is why we’ve developed front-fastening bras. There are several options to choose from, including zips and hook-and-eye designs, as well as a new wraparound front-fastening bra.

I often find padded bras with wires uncomfortable – are there any alternatives?

Why don’t you try our new non-wired push-up bra (coming soon)? It’s the first time we’ve achieved a super push-up look without a wire, and it’s very comfortable to wear.


How can I tell if my bra is the right fit?

There are several things you need to look for when it comes to the fit of a bra. Firstly, the cup: this should fit your breast like a glove, with no spilling at the neckline or under the arms (which indicates it’s too small) or gaping, which means the cups are too big.

Next, the under-band: this is the most important area to get right, as most support comes from the band. It should feel snug – you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers under the band or under the straps of your bra. Finally, any wires should only ever frame the breast. If you can feel them digging into breast tissue, you’ve got the wrong size. If in doubt, head to one of our stores where expert bra-fitting advice is available.


Editor: Sophie Hines / Photographer: Jonty Davies

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